Reading Seamus Heaney Again

The Second Commandment
is pretty specific: Thou shalt not take
the Name of the Lord Thy God in vain.
It’s one of the few commandments
I seldom break but the other night
I was reading Seamus Heaney
and was torn by the beauty
ringing in my ears and “Jesus Christ! ”
slipped out of my mouth but I
don’t think I said His Name in vain.
I spoke in high praise of a poet who
has left behind a body of work that
leaves me gasping for a respirator.

But the Second Commandment
is pretty specific so I plan to ask
Father Kelly if my 'Jesus Christ! ”
while reading Seamus Heaney
was a mortal sin, and if he says yes,
I’ll be careful reading Heaney again
because if I find better poems
and 'Jesus Christ! ' slips out again
I might have a heart attack and die
pajama-clad in my old recliner.
I could wake up ablaze in Hell.
I'll have to be careful reading
Seamus Heaney again.

by Donal Mahoney

Comments (1)

Yes, this is an inspiring poem where the speaker implores the reader to ignore the template or work with it, but even so, to take the reigns of their life, take control and make their mark. When I first read the title I thought of liquor, but the poet has re-redefined the term. Thanks Clive.